Turkish opposition HDP members, journalists arrested in Istanbul

Turkish opposition HDP members, journalists arrested in Istanbul
2 min read
15 February, 2022
Police have arrested dozens of people in Turkey, including members of the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party and journalists accused of writing critical stories.
The HDP are the third biggest party in Turkey [Getty]

Police in Turkey conducted raids across Istanbul, arresting members of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), journalists, and members of civil society, according to ANF News.

Nine people were arrested, including Esin Çelik, co-chair of the Marmara Association for the Assistance of Families of Prisoners and Convicts, and Vildan Atmaca, a reporter for the newspaper Şujin.

Atmaca was reportedly arrested in relation to articles written in 2015 and 2016. 

One HDP council member was arrested and seven administrators from the party were also rounded up.

Each of those detained were restricted from contacting a lawyer for 24-hours. 

The left-wing HDP is Turkey’s third biggest political party and has previously been accused of having links with Kurdish militants, while many of the groups lawmakers have been either investigated or jailed by the authorities.

A day earlier, Turkish authorities arrested dozens more across the country, including 27 in Amed, and 14 in Adana. Since 12 February, 48 have been arrested in Mersin. 

The nationwide arrests coincide with the 23rd anniversary of the arrest of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) co-founder Abdullah Öcalan.

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In 1999, Öcalan was abducted by Turkish security forces in Nairobi and transported by to Turkey. He was later sentenced to life in imprisonment. 

In recent years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has overseen multiple campaigns that have targeted political opponents and journalists who produce negative stories. 

Turkey is set to go to the polls in 2023 to elect a president, amid a troubling economic situation for which Erdogan’s policies have been blamed.